SINGAPORE - The heart of the city throbbed with purple on Saturday afternoon (Nov 5), as thousands gathered at Suntec City in celebration of those with special needs.
Some 10,000 people turned up at the mall in central Singapore clad in purple despite the rain, with some even donning purple top hats made of cardboard. They were doing so to show their support for those with special needs.
The Purple Parade, the largest movement in Singapore to promote awareness of this sector, was held in Suntec City for its fourth edition on Saturday, but this time in a more central location. For the past three years, the event had been held at Hong Lim Park.
This year's event drew some 10,000 people to browse carnival stalls, enjoy performances and soak in the festive atmosphere. The inaugural edition in 2013 had drawn 3,000; while the events in 2014 and 2015 drew 5,000 and 7,000 respectively.
In true spirit of the event, there was also a sign interpreter on stage so those with hearing impairments could take part in the programmes on stage.
The movement aims to ensure that people with special needs are included in Singapore's growth, with equal access to education, employment, transport and social networks.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was guest of honour at the event, and he too was clad in a purple polo shirt.
Ms Denise Phua, mayor of Central Singapore District and a champion for those with special needs said : "The fourth Purple Parade in the city district is very special for our special needs movement... People with special needs are an integral part of our big Singapore family and must always remain in the main chapters of the Singapore story."
At 7pm, several iconic buildings and bridges around Singapore, including the Esplanade, Marina Bay Sands and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, will be bathed in purple in show of support for the cause.